Download your FREE Hospital Bag Checklist, helping you to get ready for your new baby. As a first time mom, it can be quiet over whelming knowing what to bring to the hospital when you are ready to have your baby.
Depending on where you live in the world, your hospital may have different expectations on what you should bring with you and also what they actually provide for you. This Hospital Bag Checklist is created with the Irish Health Care System in mind. I know that in the UK and also the US, what is provided by the hospital is different to the Irish Hospitals. Below you will find a list tailored for a First Time Mom attending an Irish Public Hospital.
I am often asked as a Mom of 4 when do you need to pack your hospital bag? I have always had mine packed for each of my pregnancies at around 32-34 weeks. Most of my pregnancies have had a variety of health complications and as a result I have always been prepared well in advance. I also have super fast Labors so I don’t want to be wasting time once I do go into labor, I want to get to the hospital asap!
Hospital Bag Checklist for the birth/labor.
- Hospital Notes/Health Insurance/Prescription Medications: In Ireland, once you register your pregnancy with your local hospital you will be given your own Pregnancy File to keep with you. This will is essentially all of your hospital notes from the start of your pregnancy until you give birth (at which point the hospital takes over the file again). It is your responsibility to keep these Hospital Notes with you and look after them as they contain vital information about your pregnancy and your health together with the baby’s health. Pregnancy Health Care in Ireland is free but if you have Private Health Care Insurance you may choose to hire a Private Consultant, you may need to bring along any health information they have given you.
- If you have a Birth Plan make sure you have a copy of this with you. You will also need to bring along any items you need for your birth plan. If you want particular Music played, massage oils and any other items noted in your Birth Plan , ensure you have them packed well in advance.
- Loose and comfortable clothing. Most mothers going in to labor will want to wear something loose and comfortable once those contractions start. But it is an individual choice so pack whatever is practical and makes you feel confortable. I normally pack some losse pjs and a bathrobe. I was concious of post-partum bleeding so choose dark colored pj bottoms but again choose whatever makes you feel comfortable.
- Underwear/Sanitary Towels/Socks: After the delivery in the Labor ward you will want some clean underwear and Maternity Sanitary Towels. Your feet can get quiet cold so it is a good idea to have a pair of socks aswell.
- Footwear/Flip-Flops: the best advice I ever got when I was pregnant with my first child was to make sure I pack loose fitting footwear for the ward and bring a pair of flip flops for the shower! Usually the Hospital Showers are communal in each ward meaning you will essentially be standing in a shower, thousands of other mothers will have stood in after giving birth so you need to consider health and hygiene and bring a pair of flip flops for the shower you can throw away afterwards.
- Toiletries: For the actual Labor part of your stay at the hospital it will be useful to have lipbalm, hair tie, deoderant with you.
- Phone & Charger: You may wish to use your phone (or another device) for entertainment during the earlier stages of your labor so it will be useful to have your phone or another electronic device with you to keep your entertained. Ensure you bring the chargers!
Hospital Bag Checklist for AFTER the birth.
- Loose Comfortable Clothing: Similar to what I noted above, you need to consider your comfort after the birth. If you have a C Section you will have stitches on your lower abdomen and if you have a vaginal delivery you may have stitches and even if you do not, you will be feeling trauma in the area. If you are considering breastfeeding, you need to look for clothing that has front opening.
- Going Home Outfit: You will need to consider the information in the last point and also what you would like to wear home from the hospital.
- Comfortable Underwear: It is common to bleed heavily following the birth of a baby so consider some dark, non restrictive underwear that wll be comfortable.
- Maternity Pads/Nursing Pads/Nursing Bras
- Towels & Wash cloths: Irish Hospitals do not supply towels and wash cloths so bring your own.
- Toiletries: Pack your regular toiletries, including a new toothbrush, shower essentials, moisturiser, hairbrush, hair ties, deodorant.
- Glasses/Contact Lens.
- Snacks: You will most likely be up at night with your newborn in the hospital and there will not be any shops open within the Hospital at that time so consider bringing snacks and some drinks to keep you going.
- Cash & Card: Pack some coins for the vending machines and also your Card for the shop incase you want to get something during your stay in the hospital.
Hospital Bag CheckList for Baby
Always wash all of your baby’s new clothes prior to use.
- Labor Ward: For the actual arrival of your new baby it is useful to have a clear plastic bag with a baby gro, vest, nappy(diaper), socks and beanie hat. Label the bag “Labor” so your partner will know which bag to bring in once it is time for you to go to the delivery suite.
- Baby Clothing: Irish Hospitals do not provide clothing for Newborns so you must bring clothing for your baby. Be mindful of the fact your baby may spit-up quite alot so you will need several changes of clothes.
- Beanie Hats, Socks. To keep your baby nice and warm ensure you have A hat, socks and booties. Hospitals can get cold so keep your precious new bundle warm with some easy to pack extras in your newborn baby hospital bag.
- Nappies/Diapers and Wipes: Irish Hospitals do not provide these so you need to bring your own.
- Blankets and Cot Sheets: Irish Hospitals do not provide these, so you need to have your own.
- Going Home: You need to have a going home outfit picked out for your baby. Consider the weather when picking out the appropraite outfit.
- Car Seat: Ensure you have already installed the carseat and that you know how to use it and clip baby in safely.
I hope this Hospital Checklist, will make getting ready for the Hospital easier for you. It can be a daunting time worrying about what may happen, the best thing you can do is be prepared. Have your bag packed and leave it somewhere within reach should you need it in an emergency.
Are there items you found useful that are not on my List? If so, let me know in the comments. I am always interested to hear what other Moms bring to the hospital.
You can find your FREE DOWNLOAD HERE.
If you liked this post you may be also interested my Newborn Essentials Post.